This is the last post in our series on the AIACNY Urban Design Study of the 1-81 Project.
We could talk all day about urban strategies for Syracuse. This might include the safest ways for people to walk around the city, the most efficient routes for cyclists to commute or the perfect points for connection on each street. Instead, I’m going to show you examples of what these strategies could look like based on guidelines from the National Association of City Transportation Officials. Thankfully, Syracuse has already begun implementing some of these design ideas around town. In other words, we are (literally) headed in the right direction.
If sidewalks were widened, extended or shaped to form pinch points, bike lanes or even parklets, imagine the amount of activity (outside the cars) that we would have on the street.
These ideas are all about minimizing unused space in order to maximize pedestrian productivity on the street.
Parklets are one thing, but if we built more small to medium sized plazas throughout the downtown area (in places other than Armory Square), people might actually stop and hang out for a while. I would love to see more sitting space and even green space in and around all those office buildings. Interim public plazas are also great for informal community gatherings, formal events and just quick lunch breaks.
Clearly, the I-81 debate has sparked series conversation about the flow of transportation in our city. It’s not just about the highway, it’s about the streets connecting to it too. With the transformation of I-81 into a street-level boulevard, we can imagine small but impactful changes to downtown Syracuse that will also improve transportation. These are just a few examples of what we are doing and what we could do on a larger scale. What urban design strategies do YOU want for downtown Syracuse?